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Fitch, Esq., Sheriff of the county, to advise or aid them. The way towards the Wind Gap and Stroudsburg, was equally crowded. Sufferings from fatigue and hunger soon became extreme. The brave George Cooper, who would “have one shot more," with his companions, Westover and Stark, and their families, had made an effort to obtain provisions, but the Indians being discovered watching their dwellings, they were compelled to fly with scarce a morsel, though exhausted by the battle.
Of the little they had, neither of the men would partake, so that the children need not perish. Tears gushed from the eyes of the aged widow of Cooper, when she related that her husband had laid on his face to lap up a little meal which a companion, in their flight, had spilt on the earth. Children were born, and several perished in the " Dismal Swamp,” or “Shades of Death,” as it is called to this day. Mrs. Treusdale was taken in labour; daring to delay but a few ininutes, she was soon seen with her infant, moving onwarda sheet having been fixed on a horse, so as to carry them. Jabez Fish, who was in the battle, escaped ; but not being able to join his family, was supposed to have fallen; and Mrs. Fish hastened with her children through the wilderness. Overcome with fatigue and want, her infant died. Sitting down a moment, on a stone, to see it draw its last breath, she gazed in its face with unutterable anguish. There was no way to dig a grave—and to leave it to be devoured by wolves, seemed worse than death, so she took the dead babe in her arms, and carried it twenty miles, when she came to a German settlement. Though poor, they gave her food; made a box for the child, attended her to the graveyard, and decently buried it, kindly bidding her welcome, till she should be rested. The uniform hospitality of the Germans, is gratefully attested by the Wyoming people.
The wife of Ebenezer Marcy was taken in labour, in the wilderness. Having no mode of conveyance, her sufferings were inespressibly severe. She was able to drag her fainting steps but about two miles that day. The next, being overtaken by a neighbour with a horse, she rode, and in a week's time, was more than a hundred miles, with her infant, from the place of its birth.
Mrs. Rogers, from Plymouth, an aged woman, flying with her tamily, overcome by fatigue and sorrow, fainted in the wilderness, twenty miles from human habitation. She could take no nourishment, and soon died. They made a grave in the best manner they could, and the next day, nearly exhausted, came to a settlement of Germans, who treated them with exceeding great kindness. Mrs.
Courtright relates that she, then a young girl, flying with her father's family, saw sitting by the road side, a widow, who had learned the death of her husband. Six children were on the ground near her. The group, the very image of despair, for they were without food. Just at that moment, a man was seen riding rapidly towards them, from the settlements. It was Mr. Hollenback. Foreseeing the probable destitution, he had providently loaded his horse with bread, and was hastening back, like an angel of mercy, to their relief. Cries and tears of gratitude and welcome went up to Heaven. He imparted a morsel to each, and hastened on to the relief of others.
The widow of Anderson Dana, Esq., and her widowed daughter, Mrs. Whiton, did not learn, certainly, the deaths of their husbands, until they were at Bullock’s, on the mountain, ten miles on their way. Many then heard the fate of relations, and a messenger brought to Mr. Bullock, word, that both his sons were dead on the field. Then was there mourning and lamentation, and the wringing of hands. Mrs. Dana had been extraordinarily careful. Not only had she provided food, but taken a pillow-case of valuable papers, (the husband being much engaged in public business,) the preservation of which has thrown much light on our path of research. Depending chiefly on charity, the family sought their ancient home, at Ashford, Windham county, Connecticut. Those few instances selected from an hundred, will present some idea of the dreadful flight.
Early on the morning after the battle, Col. John Butler sent a detachment across the river to Pittston, when Capt. Blanchard surrendered Fort Brown, on terms of fair capitulation; and the Indians marked the prisoners with black paint on the face, telling them to keep it there, and if they went out, each should carry a white cloth on a stick, so that being known, they should not be hurt.* Colonel Butler also despatched a messenger to Forty Fort, requesting Col. Denison to come up, and agree on terms of capitulation. Taking with him Obadiah Gore, Esq., an aged man, and Dr. Gustin, Col. Denison immediately repaired to Head Quarters, near the ruins of Wintermoot's Fort. In discussing the terms, it was insisted that
• Tom Turkey, Anthony Turkey, David Singsing, and Anthony Cornelius, formerly residents in the Valley, and known to the inhabitants, were among the Indians. Squaws followed, hideously smeared with brains and blood, bringing strings of scalps ; of which, with more than a demon's malice, they would smell, and exultingly exclaim, “Yankee blood!"
Col. Zebulon Butler, and the remains of Hewett's company, being continental soldiers, should be surrendered prisoners of war.
Col. Denison desired time to consult with his officers, which was allowed. Returning, he hastened to Wilkesbarre, where, having an interview with Col. 2. Butler, it was judged expedient that he and the fourteen men remaining of Hewett's command, should immediately retire from the Valley. Ordering the men to Shamokin, Col. Butler threw a bed upon his horse, took Mrs. B. behind him, and that night tarried at the Nescopeck Valley, (now Conyngham,) twenty miles from Wilkesbarre. Having reported the fact to Col. John Butler, that all the continental men were beyond his command, negotiations were renewed-Zerah Beach, Esq. and the Rev. Jacob Johnson being present. Terms were agreed upon, verbally: but there remaining no conveniences for writing, at Wintermoot's, they were to be com mitted to paper at four o'clock, in the afternoon, at Forty Fort, when the surrender was to take place. It being known that among the stores there was a quantity of whiskey, Col. Butler desired it might be destroyed, for he feared, if the Indians became intoxicated, he could not restrain them. Before the hour, the barrels were rolled to the bank, the heads knocked in, and the liquor emptied into the river.
The two gates of the Fort were now thrown open, and what arms could be found, including those of Franklin's men, were piled up in the centre. So capacious was the fort, that notwithstanding the ranges of huts that lined the sides, there was ample room to drill a company of men. At the appointed time, the victors approached with colours flying and music playing; a column of white men, four abreast, on the left. On the right the Savages, also in four files; the whiles, headed by Col. Butler—the Indians led by Queen Esther.* “ You told me to bring more Indians, Col. Den-i-son," said the old
* Col. Stone. For the opinions of my estimable friend, I entert in unaffected regard; but when compelled by proofs, his goodness will allow me to differ from him, without offence, He thinks it impossible Queen Esther should have conducted like a demon, especially as represented at the Bloody Rock. He may have misapprehended the person. It seems she and Col. Denison were acquainted. Col. Franklin, who also knew her, states the facts in respect to her conduct explicitly. That she was a person of consideration, is manifest, from her leading the Indian column, but more especially at the Fatal Ring, from which Hammond escaped. Remember the kindred atrocities perpetrated by women during the French Revolution. It required the purity of angels corrupted, to make perfect devils. One reason assigned for her intense inalice, was, that one of the Indians slain, at Exeter, on the 21, was her son.
From a narrative recently published in “Hill's Newhampshire Patriot,” taken from a Journal of one of Sullivan's officers, we copy a paragraph.
Fury, drawling out his name, "See here, I have brought you all these.” “Be silent," said Col. Butler, “ women should be seen, but not heard.” The column of Rangers, Royal Greens, and Tories, marched in at the north. Brant, or Gi-en-gwah-toh,* with his followers, at the south gate. The suspicious look of the wary chief, glancing his flashing eye, now to the right, now to the left, as if apprehensive of treachery,' was well remembered, and graphically described by the late Col. Dorrance. Immediately on entering the fort, the Tories seized the arms. An order from Col. Butler to replace them, was followed by an address to the Indians. “See, a present the Yankees have made you !" Seeming much pleased, they took them into possession.
August 10, (1779.) After advancing about a mile through a rich bottom covered with strong and stately timber, which shut out the sun, and shed a cool and agreeable twilight, we unexpectedly were introduced into a plain as large as that of Sheshukonah (Shesquequin,) called 'Queen Esther's Plantation. It was in the plains, near the banks of the Susquehannah, that Esther, queen of the Seneca tribe, dwelt in retirement and sullen majesty. The ruins of her palace are still to be seen. In what we supposed to be the chapel, was found an idol, which might well be worshipped without violating the third commandment, on account of its likeness to 'any thing either in heaven or earth.' About sunrise, the General gave orders for the town to be illuminated, and accordingly we had a glorious bonfire, of upwards of thirty buildings at once.”
* We had yielded rather to the confident opinion of Col. Stone, than to the proofs adduced, that Brant was not in command at the invasion. His own positive denial might well be received with hesitation and doubt ; for in Europe, at least, he had no inconsiderable reputation; and so much infamy had attached to the Indian cruelties at Wyoming, that if guilty he would gladly escape, even by the additional offence of falsehood. Little regard should be paid to his mere assertion. How much more to the denial of bis Indian frienils? Where was he ? Col. Butler with his Rangers ! Johnson, with his Royal Greens! Capt. Caldwell ! Six hundred Indians to be commanded! Wyoming to be attacked! Assuredly, Brant, the great Iroquois leader, would not fail to be present! Such would be the reasoning. Add to this, the general, the universal belief, for forty years, during which time no other name was mentioned as the Chief-in-command. Gen. Ross, who lost two brothers in the battle, himself old enough to bear arms, having been in the array at Exeter, on the 2nd, highly intelligent, would not listen to a doubt on the subject ; with such certainty, had half a century of unshaken belief, fixed the fact in his mind. Recently, Eleazer Carey, Esq., a gentleman of great candour and intelligence, tells me, in a note dated July 24, 1843,
* When a lad fourteen years old, I resided in the Genesee country, and in 1803, became acquainted with the family of Kanchilak, eldest son of Blue Throat, or Talaguadeak. He had sons and daughters, not differing much from my age; and he said the boys must teach me to talk Indian, and I, them, to speak Yankee. We thus became intimate. Blue Throat could speak our language, understandingly. He assured me, as did Little Beard, who held the rank of captain in the battle, that Brant was not present. This statement was confirmed by Stuttering John, and Roland Montour, the latter a half blood, who took my uncle, Samuel Carey, prisoner."
If the concurrent assertions of Brant, and his Indian friends, are to be credited, he was not present. Mr. Carey believes them. The public will form their own judgment.
The terms of capitulation were then reduced to writing, and signed (on a table still in possession of Mrs. Myers.) (Those, with other documents of interest-indeed, all that could be obtained at the London War Office, relating to Wyoming, will be found together at the close of this letter.)
As Col. Butler stood in the gateway, he recognized Serjeant Boyd, the deserter of whom we have before spoken. “Boyd,” said he sternly, “ go to that tree.” “I hope," said Boyd imploringly, “ your honour will consider me a prisoner of war.” “Go to that tree, sir !" And at a signal the Indians poured in a volley, and he fell dead.
Soon after signing the articles, Col. Butler observed, “That as Wyoming was a frontier, it was wrong for any part of the inhabitants to leave their own settlements, and enter into the Continental army abroad ; that such a number having done so, was the cause of the invasion, and that it never would have been attempted, if the men had remained at home. Col. Franklin, who heard the declaration, added, “I was of the same opinion."
In a few hours after the fort was surrendered, the Indians began to plunder, entering the huts, and breaking open trunks and boxes. The town papers were scattered around, the
surveys, and other valuable writings destroyed, and the Westmoreland Records, with difficulty preserved. Col. Denison complained, saying he had capitulated relying on the honour of a British officer. “I will put a stop to it, I will put a stop to it,” said Butler, and gave peremptory orders to the chief. “These are your Indians, you must restrain them.” Soon after, open and flagrant robberies were renewed, and Col. Denison again, and with spirit, remonstrated. After another ineffectual effort, Col. Butler said: “I can do nothing with them, I can do nothing with them," and added, that Indians after a successful battle, never could be controlled. He professed to be, and probably was hurt, that such outrages should be committed, in violation of his plighted faith, and positive orders. “ Make out a list," added he, "of the property lost, and I pledge my honour it shall be paid for.”
Every hour growing bolder and more insolent, the savages soon threw off all restraint, seized on Col. Denison, and taking the hat from his head, demanded also the linen frock he wore. In the pocket were a few dollars, the whole military chest of the settlement, and he made some resistance, when they instantly lifting a tomahawk threatened his life. Obliged to comply, he, seeming to have some difficulty in slipping it over his head, stepped backward to where sat a young woman of his family, who comprehending the manæuvre,